Dog Laws in Vancouver, Washington

Whether you’re a longtime dog owner or just brought home a new furry friend, understanding the dog laws in Vancouver, Washington, is essential. Knowing the rules will ensure you and your beloved pet stay on the right side of the law.

Get all the information you need about Vancouver’s dog laws and become a responsible and informed dog owner in your city.

Licensing and Registration in Vancouver, Washington

In Vancouver, every dog and service dog older than eight weeks must possess a dog license. The cost for a neutered or spayed dog license is $25, while it is $50 for an unneutered or unspayed dog license. It is mandatory to renew the dog license annually and can be done online, by mail, or in person by contacting Animal Control Services in Vancouver, Washington. [1]

Senior citizens in Vancouver, Washington are eligible for a 50% discount on dog license fees. You will have to pay a two-dollar late fee if you don’t send your license application to the city’s licensing agent on time. If your dog is less than six months old, you don’t have to pay a license fee. The license will be valid until they turn six months old. [1]

Your dog must always wear a collar with the tag provided by the City Clerk attached to the license. It contains information such as the owner’s contact details and if you have lost your tag, you can get a new one by paying a fee. 

Having a licensed dog comes with several benefits, including: 

  • Increase the likelihood of reuniting with your dog if it goes missing
  • Your dog will receive longer care periods at animal shelters
  • Your dog will be transferred to an emergency medical care facility if found with an injury [2]
Licensing and Registration in Vancouver, Washington

Leash Laws

Your dog must be leashed and under your control when on public property, with the exception of designated off-leash areas. The leash should not exceed 2.5 meters (8 feet) in length, and you must always keep a hold of the leash. [3]

You must accompany your dogs in designated off-leash areas, ensuring your pets are under vocal control and do not create public nuisances or safety hazards.

Dog Owner Responsibilities in Vancouver, Washington

Pet owners in Vancouver are expected to adhere to certain responsibilities and regulations to guarantee a positive and harmonious environment for all residents and their canine companions. Here are some key responsibilities that come with owning a dog:

  • You must provide the dog with food, water, shelter, and exercise sufficient to maintain the dog in good health
  • You are not permitted to let your dog run at large
  • Don’t allow your dog on a bathing beach or in the water adjacent to a bathing beach unless permitted by the park rules
  • Keep your dog securely confined on your private property to prevent it from escaping or causing harm
  • You are not allowed to have more than three dogs at any given time or in any location or property within the city
  • If your dog is a female, you must confine and house her while she is in heat
  • You must keep your dog in a vehicle in a way that prevents the dog from falling out
  • You must hold a must hold an aggressive dog license for your aggressive dog
Dog Owner Responsibilities in Vancouver, Washington

Aggressive Dog Laws in Vancouver, Washington

If you are the owner of an aggressive dog, you are required to obtain an aggressive dog license. The initial cost for the aggressive or dangerous dog license is $300 per year and $100 for license renewal. In addition, as an owner of an aggressive dog, you must adhere to some additional responsibilities. [4]

  • When your dog is not on your property, you must secure the dog using a collar and leash 
  • When your dog is not on your property, you must ensure it is muzzled to prevent it from biting another domestic animal or person
  • Your dog has been registered on local and national registries

Impoundment of Dogs in Vancouver, Washington

If a dog is found at large, it may be impounded by the city’s animal control officers. The dog will then be taken to the city’s animal shelter, where it will be held until you claim or redeem your dog.

You are required to pay a license fee for the unlicensed dog, medical fees if any, impound and holding costs, and other chargeable fees and provide satisfactory evidence when redeeming the impounded dog. [5]

Consequences of Violating Animal Control Regulations

Violating animal control regulations can have serious consequences, including fines, warnings, and court prosecution. The specific penalties for each violation depend on the nature and severity of the offense, ranging from a fine of $100.00 to $2,000.00 for each offense. [6]

Ensure you’re fully informed and compliant with local regulations to protect the well-being of your dog and avoid potential legal issues.

Consequences of Violating Animal Control Regulations

Consult with Goldberg & Loren’s dog bite lawyers in Vancouver if you have been injured as a result of a dog law violation in Vancouver.  


Dogs are allowed in most parks and public spaces in Vancouver, Washington, but they must be kept on a leash unless in designated off-leash areas.

Dog owners in Vancouver, Washington, are required to clean up after their dogs and ensure that their pets do not become a nuisance to others. In addition, adhere to leash laws. Keep your dog on a leash in areas where it is required, and only let them off-leash in designated off-leash areas. 


[1] 8.24.060 Dog and cat license fees | Vancouver Municipal Code. (n.d.). Vancouver Municipal Code.

[2] Pet licensing | Clark County. (n.d.). Clark County.

[3] WAC 352-32-060: (n.d.).

[4] 8.24.166 Potentially dangerous dogs and dangerous dogs | Vancouver Municipal Code. (n.d.). Vancouver Municipal Code.

[5] 8.24.330 Impoundment | Vancouver Municipal Code. (n.d.). Vancouver Municipal Code.

[6] 8.24.250 Notice of civil violation–Order to abate | Vancouver Municipal Code. (n.d.). Vancouver Municipal Code.

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